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RTI >> Judgments >> CIC >> Appeal
Supreme Court(Appeal)/ High Courts(Appeal)
S.No. CIC CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 CIC/ICAOI/A/2018/629505/00854
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10 Jun, 2019 Mohit Kumar Gupta Vs. CPIO, ICAI, New Delhi – 110 002

Information Sought
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. Provide the number of CA students who have registered and de-registered / lapsed registration in each year 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 (Details category and year wise be provided) for the following courses:

I. B.Com, BBA, M.Com and MBA programmes of Bharathiar University under MOU with ICAI.
II. B.Com and M.Com programmes of IGNOU under MOU with ICAI.
2. Provide the number of CA students who have applied for examinations (details of the candidates who filled the examination forms) in each year 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 (Details category and year wise be provided) for the following courses:
I. B.Com, BBA, M.Com and MBA programmes of Bharathiar University under MOU with ICAI.
II. B.Com and M.Com programmes of IGNOU under MOU with ICAI.
3. Provide the number of CA students who have passed examination (provide along with PASSING PERCENTAGE) in each year 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 (Details category and year wise be provided) for the following courses:
I. B.Com, BBA, M.Com and MBA programmes of Bharathiar University under MOU with ICAI.
II. B.Com and M.Com programmes of IGNOU under MOU with ICAI.
4. And other related information.

Decision
The first Appellate Authority submitted that under the RTI Act, there is no specific provision for giving an opportunity of personal hearing to the appellant. She also stated that undoubtedly the principles of natural justice has to be followed on case to case basis and unless and until the FAA feels that the matter is important and requires the appellant to be heard, in such cases only, a chance is given to the appellant to appear personally and to represent his case. It was her decision based on the perusal of the facts mentioned in the First Appeal memo that personal hearing was not provided to the appellant nor was the delay of 22 days condoned as there was no cogent reason on the part of the appellant for such delay.

From a perusal of the relevant case records and considering the averments put forward by both the parties, the main issue for determination before the Commission is whether the First Appellate Authority’s order of dismissing the First Appeal without affording an opportunity to explain the delay of 22 days in
filing his First Appeal and also not providing him a chance to present his case of dissatisfaction on the reply of the CPIO is legal and justified.

The appellant submitted that the case merits remand to the First Appellate Authority for giving an opportunity of hearing to the appellant, first regarding the aspect of condonation of delay, and secondly on the subject matter of the RTI application. The concerned FAA who was also present during the hearing submitted that she has passed a reasoned order while dismissing the First Appeal. At this point, it is important to quote verbatim the observation given by the FAA in her order which is reproduced below:

“I have also perused the request of the appellant for condonation of delay in preferring this appeal and noted that the reasons furnished by the appellant are very vague and general in nature. The reason that the appellant was busy in preparation of CA Final Examination cannot be said
to be a justified one, entitling the appellant for the condonation of delay in preferring this appeal.”

Here, it is needless to say that rendering an opportunity of hearing to the parties is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence. It is conducive to fairness and transparency and is in accordance with the principles of natural justice. An opportunity of hearing to the parties also brings greater clarity to the adjudicating authorities. This Commission always gives an opportunity of hearing to the parties but this does not appear to be usually done by the FAAs, as probably there are practical difficulties therein, partly arising out of the number of appeals involved and partly due to the limited time frame in which the matters are required to be decided. However, in cases where an appellant specially asks for such a hearing before the FAA, such an opportunity should be granted. The essence of the RTI Act is to provide complete, correct and timely information to the appellant. In this particular case, the FAA has also declined to condone the delay of 22 days in filing the First Appeal by the appellant and has not even granted hearing for hearing his reasons for such delay. The Commission notes that the reasons put forth by the appellant in his first appeal are genuine and reasonable and this short delay of 22 days could have been condoned by the First Appellate Authority. The least that could have been done was to provide a fair chance of representing his case before the
Appellate Authority.

.. The principles of natural justice signify the basic minimum fair procedure which must be followed while exercising decision making powers. Natural justice forms the very backbone of a civilized society.

The wheels regarding the application of principles of natural justice to administrative and quasi-judicial proceedings started turning from 1963 when the House of Lords in the United Kingdom delivered the landmark and often quoted judgment of Ridge v. Baldwin [1963] UKHL 2. An order for dismissal of a Constable was quashed because he was not provided any opportunity to defend his actions. Presently, in our country, the principles of natural justice are applicable in totality to administrative and quasi-judicial proceedings. This is consistent and in line with the rapidly increasing role, functions and jurisdiction of such bodies in a welfare state like ours.

The below-mentioned passage of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Uma Nath Pandey v. State of U.P. AIR 2009 SC 2375 exhaustively explains the term natural justice which is reproduced below for ready reference:

"6. Natural justice is another name for commonsense justice. Rules of natural justice are not codified canons. But they are principles ingrained into the conscience of man. Natural justice is the administration of justice in a commonsense liberal way. Justice is based substantially on natural ideals and human values. The administration of justice is to be freed from the narrow and restricted Writ Petition No.6427/2017 considerations which are usually associated with a formulated law involving linguistic technicalities and grammatical niceties. It is the substance of justice which has to determine its form.

Furthermore, in OM No. 20/10/23/2007-IR dated 09.07.2009 issued by the DoPT while elaborating on the duties and responsibilities of the FAA, it was stated that:

"3. Deciding appeals under the RTI Act is a quasi judicial function. It is, therefore, necessary that the appellate authority should see that the justice is not only done but it should also appear to have been done. In order to do so, the order passed by the appellate authority should be a speaking order giving justification for the decision arrived at.

5..............................The Act provides that the first appellate authority would be an officer senior in rank to the CPIO. Thus, the appellate authority, as per provisions of the Act, would be an officer in a commanding position vis a vis' the CPIO. Nevertheless, if, in any case, the CPIO does not implement the order passed by the appellate authority and the appellate authority feels that intervention of higher authority is
required to get his order implemented, he should bring the matter to the notice of the officer in the public authority competent to take against the CPIO. Such competent officer shall take necessary action so as to ensure
implementation of the RTI Act. "

The Commission notes that the manner of dismissal of the first appeal by the FAA without granting an opportunity for personal hearing after the appellant has specifically asked for a hearing goes against the principles of natural justice. The FAA in this case without hearing the appellant concluded that the
case needs to be dismissed being time barred, without providing an ample opportunity to the appellant to justify the delay in filing the appeal and this reflects unreasonable handling of the first appeal, driving the appellant to file Second Appeal. Therefore, the Commission advices the First Appellate Authority not to repeat this practice of not hearing the appellant when a hearing is specifically sought. Keeping in view the facts of the case and the
submissions made by both the parties and in the light of the observations and decisions cited above, the Commission remands the matter to the FAA, Mrs. Seema Gerotra to re-examine the RTI application/ First Appeal and pass a reasoned decision after hearing both the parties, within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this order in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.

The appellant is at liberty to approach the Commission by way of a fresh Second Appeal with regard to the above mentioned RTI application in case such need arises.

2 CIC/RECOS/A/2017/145766
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07 Jun, 2019 Shri Prem Chand Thapliyal Vs. PIO, Nodal Officer, Parliament Street, New Delhi–110001

Information Sought
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 23.03.2017, seeking information regarding the Shankar CGHS Society, Sector-15, Rohini, Delhi. The Appellant stated that a representation had been submitted to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies on 20.12.2016 for requesting the election of the President of the society who has resigned on 30.07.2015. He further complained of unlawful activities of the managing committee of the said society and sought the following information:-
1. When the election of the president takes place, if decided.
2. If not decided the reason thereof.
3. Whether any action is taken against the managing committee for the unlawful acts by the Management particularly with regards to implementation of unlawful resolution dated 17.01.2016.
4. If yes, provide what action has been taken?
5. If no, consider the acts as he mentioned in his letter dated 20.12.2016 are not unlawful.

Having not received any response from the CPIO, the Appellant filed the First Appeal dated 15.05.2017. Feeling aggrieved as neither the PIO nor the FAA furnished the information to the Appellant.

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied, appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.

Decision
Two written submissions have been received from the appellant Shri Prem Chand Thapliyal dated 25.04.2019 & 03.04.2019, seeking imposition of penalty on the PIO, on account of their inaction regarding the unlawful activities going on in the Society.

Submission dated 30.04.2019 has been received from the PIO/Asst. Registrar (RCS) regarding rescheduling of the date of hearing.

Respondent alone is present for hearing and states that upon receipt of the RTI application, the PIO had replied vide letter dated 31.08.2017 and requested the appellant to inspect the records. However, the appellant did not visit for inspection. The respondent has further informed that the appellant has been apprised even about the current status vide letter dated 29.05.2019.

Facts of the case, which have emerged during the course of hearing indicate that respondent has in fact been taking necessary action with respect to the mismanagement in the Shankar CGHS Society. A detailed order dated 25.04.2019 and status report dated 29.04.2019 (furnished to the appellant) clarify the position. It is also noted that the PIO/AR- Sh. Sanjay Jain had provided inspection of the file of the Society vide letter dated 31.08.2017, which was not availed by the appellant. It is also noted that the appellant had not disclosed the PIO’s reply in the Second Appeal and the appellant is not present to contest his case in person despite being given the opportunity to do so. Considering the facts of the case, the Commission is of the considered opinion that it does not appear from the records of the case, that the respondent has caused any infringement to the access of information or has deliberately denied information. The appellant was at liberty to obtain the necessary information, which he chose not to. There is no merit in the instant case.

3 CIC/ALMUV/A/2018/105275/00810
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04 Jun, 2019 Ramavtar Vs. The CPIO/ Section Officer, AMU, Aligarh-202002.

Information Sought
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. The date on which Dr. Zarina Arif has been appointed as Asst. Professor in the Biochemistry department of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, affiliated to Aligarh Muslim University.
2. In which newspaper the vacancy for the post of Asst. Professor in the Biochemistry department of the said medical college was published.
3. How many applications were received for the post.
4. The number of applicants appeared in the examination and the number of
applicants who were called for the interview.
5. And other related information.

Decision
The appellant’s representative came for the hearing but neither had any authorization letter from the appellant nor any file related to the case. Hence,
he was not allowed to plead the case.

The CPIO submitted that an appropriate reply was provided on 14.12.2017 in respect of points 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,11 and 12 and on 16.12.2017 in respect of points no. 1,6 and 10 of the RTI application.

Based on a perusal of the RTI application it was noted that in respect of points no. 1 to 12 an appropriate pointwise reply was provided.

The Appellant has not availed of the opportunity to plead his case or contest the CPIO’s submissions. In view of the submissions of the CPIO, the Commission finds no scope for any intervention in the matter. The Commission accordingly upholds the submissions of the CPIO. No further action lies.

4 CIC/PAROI/A/2018/133444
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03 Jun, 2019 Kailash Chand Gupta Vs. CPIO, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi

CIC Order
The Commission, vide order dated 11.02.2019, directed the FAA, Rajya Sabha Secretariat to submit an enquiry report to the Commission within 6 weeks regarding whether the first appeal was received by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. If received, whether it was not attended due to lapse on the part of the officials. Further, CPIO, Rajya Sabha Secretariat was directed to respond to the RTI application, a copy of which is provided by the Commission, within 4 weeks.

Decision
The Commission, after perusing the records, observes that the respondent has complied with the directions of the Commission. Hence, no further action is required in the matter. Accordingly, the matter is closed at the Commission’s level.

With the above observations, the non-compliance complaint is disposed of.

Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.

5 CIC/CVCOM/A/2017/172755/SD
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01 May, 2019 Subhash Chand Vs. CPIO, Central vigilance Commission, Block-A, INA, New Delhi-110023.Subhash Chand Vs. CPIO, Central vigilance Commission, Block-A, INA, New Delhi-110023.sion, Block-A, INA, New Delhi-110023.

Information Sought
The Appellant sought to know if any reply has been received from SDMC and DDA against his Complaint registered vide no. 32666 in the year 2012; copy of report received, if any.

Decision
However, FAA is advised to take note for future that in the interest of natural justice, Applicants should be afforded an opportunity of hearing before deciding First Appeal(s).
6 CIC/NDMCC/A/2016/294805
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22 Jan, 2018 Rajendra Saxena Vs North Delhi Municipal Corporation

ISSUE :The appellant sought for information regarding action taken on his complaint dated 22/12/15. The PIO responded to the request as per his letter dated 18/5/16. Dissatisfied with the reply the appellant filed appeal before the FAA. The FAA disposed of the appeal directing the CPIO to provide the specific and complete reply. Dissatisfied the appellant filed an appeal before the CIC.
DECISION : Perusal of the records of the case reveal that the FAA has passed a non-speaking order without specifying how the PIOs order is incomplete and unsatisfactory. The case is remanded back to the FAA to adjudicate over the matter and decide the same on merits giving specific directions to the PIO to furnish the deficient information if any. An action taken report shall be positively submitted before the Commission within two weeks.
7 CIC/SB/A/2016/000357-BJ
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23 Jan, 2017 Jatinder Kumar Aggarwal vs O/o the Commissioner of Service Tax-111, Mumbai

Section 19(1) — Appeal to FAA — the Commission held that it is evident that although the CPIO had provided a suitable response but the conduct of the FAA against whom the information was being sought was perceptibly suspect and it was ethically wrong on his part and against the principles of natural justice to adjudicate his own matter. The Commission directed the Chairman, CBEC to designate another officer in the matter as FAA and the case is remanded for adjudication afresh by the FAA, thus appointed by the CBEC.
8 CIC/SH/A/2015/002179
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28 Dec, 2016 Chandra Prakash Verma vs Central Bank of India Regional Office, Varanasi

Section 19 The Appellant stated that the information sought by him has not been provided. It was pointed out to him that while the RTI application and the appeal to the Commission have been filed by him, the appeal to the FAA was filed by one Shri Ratan Kumar Verma. The Appellant stated that Shri Ratan Kumar Verma is his son and was entitled to file an appeal u/s 19. However, we do not agree with the above Interpretation given by the Appellant to Section 19. Appeals under Section 19 can be filed only by the RTI applicant himself and not by any other person. We note that the FAA, vide his order dated 11.7.2015 had refused to entertain the appeal filed by the son of the Appellant. In view of the above, we see no ground to interfere with the order of the FAA. However, if he so desires, the Appellant may himself file an appeal to the FAA. In the event of his doing so, the FAA is directed to dispose of the appeal strictly within the time frame laid down in the RTI Act. The Appellant shall be at File No. CIC/SH/A/2015/002179 liberty to approach the Commission in appeal u/s 19 of the RTI Act, in case he is not satisfied with the order of the FAA.
9 CIC/BS/A/2015/001223/11292
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19 Sep, 2016 Rajesh Onakrdas Agrawal Vs. BSNL, Khamgaon

Section 19(1) Appeal to First Appellate Authority Opportunity of hearing the Commission held that it is needless to say that rendering an opportunity of hearing to the parties is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence. It is conducive to fairness and transparency and accords with the principles of natural justice. An opportunity of hearing to the parties also brings greater clarity to the adjudicating authorities. This Commission always gives an opportunity of hearing to the parties but this does not appear to be usually done by the FAAs, as probably there are practical difficulties therein, partly arising out of the number of appeals involved and partly due to the limited time frame in which the matters are required to be decided. In view of this, we would only like to suggest that the FAA should, as far as possible give the appellant including third party, if any, an opportunity of hearing specially if he so requests, without forgetting that the essence of RTI Act is to provide complete, correct and timely information to the appellant.
10 CIC/MP/A/2015/002067
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28 Apr, 2016 Rajan Kumar Gupta vs Punjab National Bank, Chandigarh

Section 19(3) Second appeal to the CIC and SIC Scope

The Commission held and agreed with the Appellate Authority that the appellant may file a separate RTI application if he to obtain additional information. It is not open for an information seeker to enlarge the scope of his RTI at appeal stage.
11 CIC/KY/C/2016/000008 CIC/KY/A/2016/000009
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22 Apr, 2016 Akshay Kr. Malhotra vs DDA, New Delhi

Section 19(3) Second Appeal to CIC or SIC.

The Commission held that the petitioner has filed petitions in composite nature whereby, the petitioner has sought relief provided under section 19(8)(a)(v) of the RTI Act and also the penal action along with disciplinary action against the respondents under sections 20(1) & 20(2) of the RTI Act. Thus, these petitions may be legally construed as composite petitions. The composite petition of such nature is not legally tenable, simply because, if the relief provided under section 19(8)(a)(v) is allowed on such composite petition, the incorporation of section 19(3) of the RTI Act would be rendered as redundant and meaningless. The relief provided under section 19(8)(a)(v) of the RTI Act, is legally permissible to be provided to the petitioner, if he wishes to file the petition u/ s 19(3) of the RTI Act i.e. second appeal only before this Commission.

Similarly, the reliefs provided under sub-clause (1) & sub-clause (2) of section 20 of the RTI Act, are legally permissible to be provided to the petitioner, in case, he wishes to file the petition u/s 18 of the RTI Act i.e. a complaint before this Commission and, however, not in otherwise. Composite petitions are devoid of merit and deserve to be dismissed.
12 CIC/RM/A/2014/004572-SA CIC/RM/A/2014/004573-SA
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21 Apr, 2016 Anil Kumar Gupta vs National Institute of Open Schooling

Section 19(1) Appeal to First Appellate Authority. Not to be heard by if he is interested party.

The Commission held that the NIOS has breached the law and the settled principles of natural justice by allowing party like Joint Director, to hear appeal of the appellant as FAA resulting in unjustified and biased The principle is that one who has made the decision having a judicial flavor should not participate in arising from such a decision. There is a strong prima facie case that the concerned Joint Director might tampered with the documents to wrongfully to show that the appellant was not performing well. The Commission directed the CPIO and the concerned Joint Director to show cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed upon each of them for misleading the Commission and making allegations that the appellant was misusing the Act. The Commission also directed the concerned Joint Director to show cause why disciplinary action should not be recommended against him for hearing first appeal being an interested party and directed the public authority to explain why compensation of Rs. 50,000/ should not be paid to the appellant.
13 CIC/KY/A/2015/000857
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22 Feb, 2016 A. M. Attar Vs. Haj Committee of India, Mumbai

Section 19(3) Second appeal to the Commission Section 20(1) Levy of Penalty Section 20(2) Recommendation of disciplinary action against the CPIO Composite Petition the Commission held that the relief provided under section 19(3) of the RTI Act, is legally permissible to be provided to the petitioner, if he wishes to file the petition u/s 19(3) of the RTI Act i.e. second appeal only before this Commission. Similarly, the reliefs provided under sub clause (1) & sub clause (2) of section 20 of the RTI Act, are legally permissible to be provided to the petitioner, in case, he wishes to file the petition u/s 18 of the RTI Act i.e. a complaint before this Commission and, however, not in otherwise. In the absence of expressed & enabling provisions under the RTI Act to file the Composite Petition, the instant composite petition is devoid of merit and deserves to be dismissed.
14 CIC/RM/A/2014/000014-SA
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03 Dec, 2015 Vijay Kumar Mishra v. CBSE directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

The applicant sought copies of answer sheets of his son for class 12 (Maths and Science) exams held in 2013.

The CIC held that CBSE created several unreasonable conditions to limit/delay and deny right to information of the students.

The CBSE has no authority to deny information sought by father/natural guardian on behalf of minor. Hence father of the student is entitled to copies of answer sheets.

The condition imposed by CBSE of signing an undertaking relinquishing right to re-evaluation is restricting the right to information but also insulating itself from accountability.

CIC directed CBSE to put in place such system with conducive practices by which the Right to information of the appellants is not limited but facilitated, by removing the obstacles.
CBSE was directed to pay a compensation of Rs. 25,000/ to the appellant within 15 days.
15 CIC/SA/A/2013/000101-YA
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20 Feb, 2015 Layak Ram Vs. NDMC

The appellant sought information regarding his application for regularisation of construction on his property; reasons for rejection; the basis on which the property was demolished; copies of various orders in this connection, etc. Through a series of RTI Applications.

CIC directed the CPIO to provide information along with relevant note sheets within four weeks.

The CIC observed that the 96 applications dealt with queries in general information in respect of which could have been provided to the applicant. The Commission took serious view of the casual approach of the FAA. Such deliberate act of not discharging his role as FAA and passing the buck to the PIO and to the Commission is an act which cannot be condoned. In this background, the Commission directed the Commissioner, NDMC to take appropriate action against the FAA for displaying flagrant disregard to the RTI regime and to the role of the FAA.
Total Case uploaded: 18